Cellular Phone Buying Guide Essay

2444 words - 10 pages

Cellular Phone Buying Guide

Cellular phones are now owned by one out of three people living in the United States. It is believed that this number will approach, and probably reach, one out of two within the short future. With so many companies producing and marketing the use of cellular phones, rates for their use have dramatically reduced within the last four to five years. The size of the phones has decreased, while their number of features and ease of use has increased. Analog connections are now becoming obsolete, in favor of the clearer and battery-saving digital connection. Many units on the market now are tri-mode, meaning that in addition to analog they use the digital signals of TDMA and CDMA. Strides like these have made mobile communication increasingly popular as well as reliable. With this popularity, companies have been able to reduce their monthly rates while offering many features free of charge, features that the user is accustomed to paying for on their house phone line. This competition has led many to use their cellular phone as their main phone, or even their only phone. Some of the features that have made cellular communications so popular are the following: free nights and/or weekends, caller identification, call forwarding, three-way calling, voice mail, text messaging and Internet access. Many of these features are either free or of very low cost. When combined with the intelligent use of peak minutes and free nights and weekends (usually between 8 am and 8 pm), a consumer can quickly find that a cellular phone plan is cheaper than their home phone plan. The problem is finding out which provider, which plan, and which phone make the most sense for each individual.
Within this report is a comprehensive guide to the plans now offered by the three major providers of cellular service in our area. These providers are Sprint, Verizon, and Cingular Wireless (formerly Cellular One). Although their many plans are similar, they can become extremely confusing. A calling plan should be chosen based on the following: 1) When the phone will be used. 2) For how long each day it will be used. 3) Where the phone calls will be made from. 4) Whom the user will be calling. These factors can quickly get confusing when you take into consideration the different home/roaming areas of each provider. Both Verizon and Cingular now offer three plans for coverage. One a local coverage area, which generally covers from Buffalo to Albany from east to west, with a limited coverage north and south of the I-90. The second plan offered by both covers a good portion of the east coast, down through Maryland for Verizon, and through Virginia for Cingular. Both Verizon and Cingular have recently added national plans to their available coverage options, and although these plans are more expensive than the local and regional, they can make sense for many. Although some areas are not covered within these National Plans, they...

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